What to Buy: April

Hi there Readers!

Hope you all had wonderful long Easter weekends. The amazing weather we’ve had here in the South of the country this week has made it for me. Days spent outside sans coat, playing with the Little Man, have been wonderful. There’s something really special about seeing your own child play in the garden that you used to play in as a child (we’ve been at my parents house for the weekend). It’s been lovely to enjoy tea and hot cross buns sitting outside in the sun – honestly, I feel like a different person when the skies are blue and there’s warmth in the air.

The weather has actually got me excited about the summer, and herein lies the foundation of my recommendations of what to buy this month. Options for a bit of bare skin aplenty here ladies…!

Strappy Sandals

A fresh pedicure and the sun has made me think of the warmer months, and now’s the time to pick up a pair of sandals that will see you through. There are lots of strappy options around this summer, and you don’t need model-like legs to carry them off. Either in black or tan (both are great basics although tan just pips black for a summer essential), there are easy-on as well as the more labour-intensive versions. I really like the simplicity of the Mango ones (once on I hasten to add, they take a little bit of tying and I don’t do it up the leg!), but the New Look versions are great (and easy to do up). I actually quite like them in the Gold too…

New Look // Next // Mango // M&S

White Folk Tops

Now this is what I alluded to in my last post. The Folk top. I really love them. I really want to look like one of those easy-going models in one, just casually strolling through a field of sunflowers with a horse. But I don’t. Far from it! I have come to the conclusion that it’s because I have a large-ish chest (34D) and they just don’t sit well on the front, especially the ties. Also the voluminous nature of most of them, although appearing to be flattering, just isn’t on me. It is in fact the opposite. Here are the pick of my favourites though. I have tried them all except the H&M one which I will, but I fear it will be the same old story. I love the idea of the Next one with the tassels, but it just stopped short on my hip so that didn’t work. I’d love to know if any of you can make these work – please, let me live vicariously through you guys!

Mango // H&M // Next // Mango

‘White’ Jeans

No, I haven’t come over all Liz Hurley and I’m not going to recommend you go out and buy a pair of tight white bootcut things, but looking online and on the High Street, white jeans are having a moment. The cut is not the only important thing though. Fabric and colour play a huge part. They need to look effortless but not too “done”. This is why Ecru is better than bright white, and a slightly more boyfriend fit is easier to wear. Dressed up with a jacket and tee (perhaps a stripe with Navy Blazer for work) or down in this transitional season with a neutral oversize knit, they are easier to wear than you think. Maybe not the best thing if you have a toddler in tow, but you can still work them into your wardrobe… all important date night with the other half perhaps…?

Topshop // ASOS // Gap

Citrus Shades

I’m not sure whether I have noticed this more because I am looking for yellow accents to go with some of the makeovers we have done in our house, but zingy citrus shades are popping up everywhere, and I really think they make a Spring/Summer wardrobe. There are shades out there to suit everyone – from the most “ice cream” pastel shades of orange and yellow to the bright neon limes and pinks.  They look wonderful with white or denim, and equally with tan accessories. I love the colour of this J. Crew jumper, and this Whistles print is stunning – perfect for a summer wedding. The Citrus colour that is also in a lot of the collection at J Crew is stunning – would be great with white. I love these shorts.

J.Crew // M&S // Whistles // Zara

A Scarf

Sounds odd I know, but a summer-weight scarf can be a bit of a lifesaver. In these spring months its something that you can put around your shoulders to keep the chill that’s in the air (it’s still April people and although double figures down here, not THAT warm) out, and then come the summer, if it’s large enough, you can even use as a sarong. I love this J.Crew one with the pom poms but just wish the colours were a little less pastel for me personally. A silk one is always a lovely option too – the H&M one here ticks a couple of the SS15 boxes for Citrus and Lilac. You can never go wrong with a Becksondergaard version either. Great length in great colours. ASOS has a brilliant selection.

ASOS // H&M // J.Crew

So readers, I may or may not be back at the end of the month or beginning of next depending on what happens with Bubba No.2. The last Midwife appointment I had confirmed that all is ready to go so it’s just wait and see I guess. I’m hoping beyond hope that we’ll be back in the house before the time comes though. No pressure on our poor builder then…!

Have wonderful April’s all, and I hope that it remains sunny for you for the rest of the month, even if the cooler weather comes back ;)

Erin xx

 

How to Wear: March

Morning Readers!

So it’s the last day of March and I’m yet again left wondering where time has gone.

My Month has been a mixture of a short break away with Richard and Calum, lots of work on the house (our move-back-in-date-prior-to-number-two is, fingers crossed looking likely), a lovely pamper/sightseeing day in London with a great friend for her Birthday and of course work (with some fun events rolled in!).


P&O Britannia Launch // At Cowshed Shoreditch for a Pamper Afternoon // Portsmouth from the IOW Ferry on Mothers Day // One of the new bathrooms taking shape

I have managed to pick a few bits up this month that I’m going to be saving for the warmer weather in my “post-maternity/summer box, but more on that in a bit. On to what I’ve been wearing…

Baby Number 2 has definitely made more of an appearance this month and I feel about as big at this point (with about a month to go) as I did at the very end of full-term with Calum. Weirdly though I don’t feel like my legs or arms have changed (which they did last time) so some things are still fitting.

I’ve managed to try out some flares in the form of some Topshop Jessie jeans which I found on eBay in the Maternity style (although I’m finding that over and not under-bump style jeans are more comfortable this time round). These worked well with my Acne Pistol boots in Chestnut.

A pair of ASOS distressed boyfriend jeans (over-bump) have been my best friend and I’ve worn these loads, both for work on a Friday and at the weekends. These were a great buy at £19 in the sale (now sadly sold out but these are similar).


At the Sky Garden in London // ASOS Maternity Distressed Jeans

I also did have a Black tie event to go to but thankfully a Cos Black Sequin dress I found in the recent sale worked. I just sized up one size and as it was a shift anyway, it is fitted perfectly.

Other items that have seen the light of day are some Stan Smiths (proving I do practice what I preach!) and shoes without socks for the teasing warm spell we had mid-month.

Boden Lille Flats // Adidas Stan Smiths // New Look Flats // Office Flats

Finally, as per, stripes have been my friend.


With my team onboard P&O Britannia wearing H&M // DVF Chevron Knitted Dress (non-maternity) // Zara Light Sweatshirt (non-maternity)

Now quickly on to my “Summer Box”.

I’ve noticed more and more in retail that if you don’t get something you like straight away then you are in danger of it being sold out, never to return, and I do suffer from FOMO cases when it comes to clothes every so often. Here are the bits that have made my box this month (most of which you’ve seen before). I’ve bought my normal pre-pregnancy size knowing that I went back to it after Calum so there’s no reason (she hopes) that this won’t be the case again. Ah, the joys of hindsight ;)


Topshop Pintuck Blouse // M&S Denim Skirt // H&M Culottes // H&M Jumpsuit

So that’s it! I’ll be back after the Easter break with my What to Buy April.

There will be something on the list that I hope that you’ll subscribe to. I’ve tried loads of variations but it just doesn’t work on me, boo hoo. I’m going to have to live vicariously through you guys.

‘Til then then. Wishing you all a very Happy Easter that full of family and freinds time, Roasts and Chocolate.

Erin x

What to Buy: March

Happy Friday Readers!

Spring is definitely arriving in the city, and my thoughts are turning to less layers and warmer weather. Last week, I spent a few days in Miami doing my Maternity Leave handover with my Boss and it was so nice to feel the sun on my face. To be able to sit outside at 9pm having dinner was wonderful.

There are a few things I’ve been seeing in the shops this month that should make your “What to Buy” lists this month, and I’m a firm believer that if they aren’t snapped up now, you’ll regret it when the weather DOES get warmer to wear them.  I’ve been a little bit inspired by Laura in starting a Summer/Post-Maternity Box with a few things that will see me through the season, once Bubba has arrived.

Classic Kicks

Adidas Gazelle / Adidas Stan Smith / Adidas Superstar / Converse All Stars

I’m not sure about you, but I grew up with classic trainers. Mine in fact were a pair of Nike Air Cortez that were white with a navy swoosh, and they pretty much saw me through three years of my late teens. I mustn’t forget to also mention some white Converse All Stars which I’ve replaced countless times and still have today. The brand du jour though has got to be Adidas and I’m seriously tempted by a pair of Stan Smiths – something I’ve never owned. My boyfriend during my early 20s was an absolute “sneaker-freaker” but only for the classics so I have learnt from him – the shell-toed Superstars are also making me look twice. Great to wear with any outfit from a dress or skirt to denim, they are an easy way to effortless cool.

The Shirt Dress

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Mango / ASOS White / New Look

I guess it’s no surprise to you all that these are all striped. I think you know me well enough by now, and how my obsession runs through most of my wardrobe. I like the easy feeling of these dresses, that they can just be thrown on either with heels for work (dressed up with a statement belt) or a pair of the aforementioned sneakers. I’m waiting to see what this Iris & Ink version will be like too – it may be a bit too lux for a new Mum, but I do like the idea of the shirt element for easy BF access.

D’Orsay Shoes

Zara / J Crew / ASOS

This is a term I’ve recently learnt, and the perpetrators of these shoes upon having done some research seem to be US brand Vince. Not a new style I know, but they do seem to be more readily available than I’ve seen in the past. I happened to start thinking about this shoe style after going to see 50 Shades for the second time (I know, please don’t judge me, Jamie Dornan is just so HOT!), as Anna wears them in a few scenes. I really like the tassles that give the J Crew pair something different, and I did try the Zara ones, but they are a bit narrow at the front for my wide feet. They are a great option though and a beautiful mix of pony skin and leather for those of you with nice petite hooves ;) I know Rebecca has also mentioned the ASOS Little Rock ones before (and has in fact worn them recently), and these come in various colours too (all of which happen to be on sale). On the subject of 50 Shades, the soundtrack is FANTASTIC. Definately one to download, although it does now conjure up scenes from the film in my head when listening to it ;)

70′s Denim

H&M / Marks & Spencer

Two trends in one here, since Denim and all things 70′s are around at the moment. Flares are something I’m just getting back in to – it’s liberating for the ankles that’s for sure! I also remember having a button through skirt that I wore A LOT when I was about 16, and it was my Mum’s from the actual 70s, so I’ll have to try and dig that out (nope, I don’t do a lot of throwing away much to the despair of my Husband). The M&S one above has been really popular and it actually sold out on line, but there are a few around in the shops if you call up customer services. These TopShop jeans are a good introduction to flares too if you’ve been a “skinnies girl” until now.

Super Soft Suede

Wrap Dress / Jacket / Boots / Bag 

Another 70′s revival is all things Suede. From footwear, to accessories and clothing, it’s in most shops – both the real deal, and some faux versions. Whilst faux is probably more practical, there’s something very tactile about real suede. I’m hankering after the M&S Autograph Skirt that EVERYONE is talking about (how very original of me) which is due in May, but you can introduce it in lots of ways. For me, tan is the classic shade (who remembers the Suede jacket stage at school? That was 5th Year and Sixth Form in my world) but softer neutrals are a good way to go as well. The Accessorize bag above is one of a few from their new leather range which is gorgeous. The baby blue and bucket shape are very on trend for now.

In keeping then with last month, I thought I’d share another beauty bit that I’ve been using for a while and really do whole-heartedly recommend. I am a big fan of Dermalogica products as my skin can be temperamental – dry one minute and greasy the next – so this range really manages that for me. After a facial last year (where she used Dermalogica products anyway), I started to use the Total Eye Care cream. Honestly, it’s made such a difference to the skin around my eyes and I’ve really noticed a difference in lines and now lack thereof. Now it’s not cheap, but is lasts for AGES.

Hope you liked this month’s recommendations readers. Please do, as always, let me know if you buy anything – I’d love to see your choices :)

Have great months!

Erin xxx

 

 

How to Wear: February

Hello Readers!

Well February has been a mixed bag hasn’t it? We’ve veered from really beautiful, Spring-like weather mid-month to snow (where we live anyway) last weekend. It’s also been an extremely busy month for me work-wise and coupled with being almost 7 months pregnant and knowing we have a house that has no roof, I feel pretty exhausted to be honest.

I did enjoy a few precious days away with Richard and Calum just before Valentine’s Weekend. We decided to head to the New Forest (barely an hour and a half from us but it felt like far enough away for a nice break) and spent a few nights at The Pig.

Honestly, we love these hotels having now stayed at three of the four. I think for me it’s all in the marketing (“a restaurant with rooms”). They are so low key. Very little to do except wander round the kitchen gardens and check out the animals; perhaps have a little treatment in the Potting Shed; sit in one of the comfy public rooms and enjoy a cocktail whilst you play “Pass the Pigs” (does that remind anyone else of their childhood (the game not the cocktails!) or is that just me?) or just read, and really, chill out. Anyone who knows the properties will know the food is exceptional too and a fantastic added bonus.

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One of the Comfy Lounges at The Pig, Brockenhurst

A delicious array of home-infused Chase Vodka’s and of course, homemade Sloe-Gin. Must visit again when alcohol is on the menu ;)

What we loved this time was that they treated Calum like a king. The family room we had was wonderful, and the little treats that he was given throughout the stay were priceless.

Anyway, I digress a bit, as this is supposed to be a Style Column, but what we did this month dictated largely what I’ve been wearing.

Work-wise, it’s been all about pointy flats and dresses. Most of the dresses are non-maternity, either they just fit (thanks goodness for the shift shape that’s in this S/S) or they are a size larger than I usually take, and the flats are some I have and also supplemented by a new acquisition in these. I also made a cheeky purchase from my What to Buy Feb list – the TopShop stripe dress. This does come in Maternity too, but I decided against that and went for the normal one and it’s fine.

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Casually, it’s been all about sneaker- flats, jeans and oversized jumpers. Perfect for this transition weather. I do love the Zara boots above I picked for a steal in NYC. They are such a beautiful colour IMO ;)

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The other thing I’ve rediscovered is my love of a hat. There are certain styles I can’t wear (I struggle with a Trilby) but wearing a hat is something I’ve always loved and winter is the perfect time to try some of the lovely felt styles out there. This TopShop one has been a favourite over the last couple of weeks. You also can’t go wrong with a bobble hat. Mine (from Bobbl) is great as it’s a nice mix of Black and Navy which goes with a lot of my wardrobe.

So, how have you worn February? Did you pick up anything in the What to Buy list from earlier this month?

See you back here in a couple of weeks!

Erin xx

What to Buy: February

Happy February Readers!

Although I do hate to wish time away, as I feel it speeds along so fast at the best of times, I’m glad we are now firmly in to 2015, and thoughts can be turned to Spring, and all the new-ness that comes with it.

The January sales seemed to last forever, and it’s really nice to see the new season stock coming in, especially when the trends for SS15 are not only beautiful, but really quite wearable too.

It’s a tradition of mine since I was at school to buy a copy of Vogue for my Mum twice a year for their Catwalk Report, and this still continues 20 years later! When I was living at home, I used to earmark the pages for Mum who would then make me something from the season (she’s a Bio-Chemist but loves to dress-make in her spare time), and she still uses the pages for her inspiration now.

This issue didn’t disappoint, and here is a round up of my favourite trends of the season.

Denim with a Difference

ASOS Dress / H&M Girlfriend Jeans

This take on the Denim trend takes me back a little to my late teens, when I LIVED in a Denim pinafore dress that Mum had actually made me. There’s an M&S Full Skirt that I’m waiting to come into store which looks perfect, but in the meantime, I love the easy look of this ASOS White dress and the patchwork pattern really lives up to the “with a difference” tag. H&M are also on fire with their jeans selection at the moment. If you haven’t tried their “girlfriend” fit I urge you too. Skinner than Boyfriend, but a slightly higher cut (something I prefer now I must admit!) and not too tight on the leg, the silhouette they give is great with flats or heels. This distressed pair would look great with a sweatshirt now, or strappy cami come the warmer weather.

It’s all about the Stripes

Next Skirt / Boden Top / M&S Shoes / TopShop Dress

I really never do tire of a stripe, and they are set to be big this season on everything from clothing to accessories. Bold colours, monochrome or the classic Bretton, anything goes really. This is good news for me, as a LOT of my wardrobe is already stripes, but I am drawn to these M&S shoes (sold out in my size, BOO!) and also this Boden top is very like the Karen Millen dress I’ve been living in this winter. I also love the way that some stores have styled stripes with other prints in this summer – Next, I’m looking at you :) There’s lots of choice out there so just go for a colourway and size that you know suits you.

Fancy Florals

Next Shirt / H&M Trousers / Boden Trainers / TopShop Trousers

As the Vogue supplement suggests, flowers are big news in SS15 and what I really love is that it’s not just one particular print. From big and bold cartoony type prints, to the more chintzy Liberty-esque styles, again, there is something to suit everyone. I personally think the bolder the better, but I think I’m in the same camp as Rebecca here – having grown up with Rainbow Bright as a style icon ;) I love this Next shirt, especially teamed up with the stripe pencil skirt, and these Topshop trousers, although not strictly floral, really drew my eye in the iciness that was NYC last week. I may just have to get these and store them in my post-baby box to wear come the late Spring.

On the Fringe

J.Crew Top / H&M Bag / Zara Boots / ASOS Bag

Fringing was around last season, but it’s not going anywhere fast, and you can now find it not only adorning accessories, but clothing too. Although I’m not what you’d class as a hippy chick, there are ways to nod to this trend. These Zara boots are a nice way in, as is this J.Crew top, which when worn with slim trousers or jeans, gives just enough movement to satisfy that swish. For something a little easier to wear, the blogger-favourite H&M bag is now back in stock, and although I know this isn’t actually fringing per se, the ASOS clutch has a gorgeous tactile look to it.

Jump to it

H&M / Zara / Mango

It’s so much more commonplace now to see a Jumpsuit in your favourite shop. Actually really easy to wear (although granted, NOT that easy when nature calls) they can be dressed up or down depending on the look you are going for. These three jumpsuits really stood out for me, mostly down to the print on the first two, and the shape of the third. Personally, I prefer a jumpsuit that looks less like a boiler suit, but that’s because I’ve not found a “boiler-suit” one that suits me. I’d be interested to know if any of you guys have.

Now, this is a fashion column I know, but I wanted to just touch a minute on a couple of beauty buys I’ve found and wanted to share, hope you don’t mind. I’m not saying they are must buys, but I’ve certainly found them revolutionary. First up with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I bought this on a flight back from the US towards the end of last year, and have used it nightly, give or take a few misses, ever since. It smells wonderful, and really moisturises my skin. I’ve found with about three months use, texture is better and I do actually look less tired and worn out without make it – a big achievement!

The other is the lip products by Bite Beauty. Now Rebecca mentioned these a while ago on this blog and I bought a couple then (when Cocosa was selling them) and ever since, I’ve picked one up in the US (they are sold in Sephora) when I’ve been there. You can pick them up on eBay, and Sephora now ship to the UK, but my favourites are the High Pigment Pencils (Zinfandel is my go-to) and the Matt Creme Lip Crayons. The colours are mostly bold (which I love) but it’s the fact they are made with natural ingredients, and don’t make my lips feel dry at all that I like the most.

So that’s my tips for February readers. I’d love to see if you bought something from here, or from one of the trends above. Do share if you do, by using #ffWTBFeb on Insta or Twitter.

Until the end of the month… :)

Erin xxx

How to Wear: January

Morning Readers!

I hope you have all had good January’s and that the month hasn’t been too long for you. I was lucky enough to have a week in NYC last week (although I wasn’t with my family, boo) which broke up the month a little, but I normally suffer from the “extra long month” syndrome like most.

I do hope my #JanuaryJoy post at the beginning of the month helped to elicit some pleasure though, especially since my recommended buys were all under £40. Here’s how I wore a few of them…

Sparkles and Leather

I mentioned the H&M Sparkle shirt a couple of times – once in January and once before that in October. It’s very J.Crew-esque in my opinion and a great length to wear with skinny jeans or leggings. I’ve paired it here with Black Skinnies but have also worn it with a skirt. A great buy and there are still a few larger sizes left, although I have seen them in-store too.

I know that Leather Leggings weren’t officially on my What to Buy list, but wearing them with an Oversized Jumper was, and that’s what I’m doing here. This was is a charity shop cashmere men’s find which I love, and brought warmth easily at the beginning of the month whilst at Chessington Zoo for the day. These leather skinnies are old from Zara, but there are plenty about – check out my post earlier in January where I’ve commented where the best place to get them is.

Lace and Oversized Jumpers

I actually bought the Green Lace Insert Next Dress I featured for a Black tie event that I had mid-month. I didn’t fancy something long, and I had found these Carvela Red Shoes (now sold out) in the John Lewis sale, and although not usually two colours I’d wear together, I found the green was dark enough to carry them.

Whomever invented the Oversized Jumper was a genius. As I said, I wear this H&M one (now sadly sold out in all three colours online) as a dress with tights and boots, or as I have done here with Skinny Jeans. This was the perfect Travel outfit. I had a Stripe Long-sleeve t-shirt on underneath it so I could de-layer on the plane, but I was grateful for the jumper, and Parka, when I got to NYC! The cold there is BITING!

Embellished Shoulders

Now THIS jumper I actually found in Zara in NYC as I wasn’t quick enough to nab it from my own list at the beginning of the month, and I love the detailing on the neck and arms, plus the fact it’s machine washable. What I don’t love in retrospect is that every darn thing catches on the jewels. Note to self – do not wear with a snag-able blanket scarf. However, it’s the picture on the right that will draw your attention… ;)

Yes, I’m going to be a Mummy again! I’m now six months pregnant with bubba No. 2 and we can’t wait. I had a rough start this time, something I wasn’t used to as I sailed through the whole nine months the first time round, but after week 16 or so, I began to feel better. The second trimester is definitely being more kind to me :) The day this picture was taken I actually ended up walking about 70 blocks in NYC and felt fine afterwards, although a little stiff the next day I must admit.

I am going to continue to write the What to Buy posts at the beginning of the month, and still continue to the How to Wear whilst I feel OK, but these may lessen off. I’m also without the majority of my wardrobe whilst our house is renovated. I feel a little like Rebecca in the lead up to having Bea with all the house improvements and impending deadline :)

So, there we have it – the news is finally out, although I suspect a few of you may have guessed in my lack of waisted items which I love. Do follow me on Instagram for some daily updates if you like. I’ll be back next week with my pick of what I’ve seen of the New Season. Until then…!

Erin xxx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

#JanuaryJoy: Refresh your Style

Hello Readers!

HNY to you all. 2014 was certainly a blur but I enjoyed the pace of the final two weeks where I had the time off work to spend with Hubby and son. Returning to work on Monday was a big struggle!

I know I didn’t recap what I wore in December but I’m sure you were all too busy enjoying your festive periods to care anyway ;) Thank you to all those of you that joined in with #fffestivefun – it was lovely to see your interpretation of the daily prompts.

January can be a bit of a mixed bag. With the Media serving up initiatives like Dryathalon (all for good causes though), the inevitable return to the norm (be that work, school or just regular life after the buzz of Christmas) and the fact that it can be so long until Pay Day for some, it’s not surprising that January is often billed as a depressing month.

However, fear not! This month’s What to Buy features some great pieces that you’ll mostly find in the remains of the Sale, and as some of you may be on a budget, nothing exceeds £40. Coupled with Rebecca’s #JanuaryJoy, we can make this years Jan a bright one!

A Classic Jumper

My love for J Crew knows no bounds and although my American boss doesn’t know what all the fuss is about (“It’s like M&S isn’t it?”… erm No!), the Tippi Jumper is one of my favourite pieces. Bracelet length sleeves and a close enough fit to be worn smart or casually, the Tippi is a good alternative to a T-shirt for the Spring. These two colours are reduced in the sale and are actually great Spring colours. Uniqlo and Gap are also good places to find really good alternatives, also in Merino Wool.

J Crew / Uniqlo / Gap

An Oversized Knit

These are everywhere and since the winter months firmly still with us, you’d get a lot of wear out of it. I wear mine either as a Jumper dress for work or with faux leather leggings for easy weekend wear. I especially like the camel H&M style – not a massive lover of a polo neck, this is loose enough to be cosy and not make me look too top heavy.

H&M / H&M / M&S / Topshop

Something Lilac

This notorious “Granny” shade is set to be big for SS15. Ranging from the palest purple to something more Neon Parma Violet, it would be a good time to pick up one of these pieces to add to your wardrobe as a nod to Spring, but at AW14 sale prices.

New Look / Clarks / H&M / ASOS

Sparkles

The Magpie in me will never die and anything Sparkly always cheers me up. The F&F flats above have a whiff of Tabitha Simmonds about them. For £7 just click and collect with your weekly shop. Also, I’ve mentioned this shirt before, and now it’s in the sale ;)

H&M / F&F / Zara / Monica Vinader

Lace

Again, lace was big on the SS15 collection catwalks and you could easily nod to the trend early with something you pick up now. Granted, the lace seen on the Runways was beautiful pastels and whites, but really, lace is lace right and these colours are much easier to wear in January…

Next / Next / Whistles / Zara 

So what do you think readers? Will you choose something here to brighten up your Jan? My Month has kicked off with our Renovation Project starting at home – meaning we’ve had to move out for a while. I’ll be back later in the month with “How I Wore” January but please forgive any less than salubrious places that my outfit post pictures are taken from. #realliferules after all ;)

Erin xx

What to Buy: December

Morning Readers!

I’m back again with the last “What to Buy” of 2014. I find December such a magical time. In years past, my Hubby and I would always go on holiday in the first week of December and come back around the 16th/17th, and whilst the winter sun was welcome, we always lamented missing the build-up. Working in a big city makes things very festive with brass bands and Carolers welcoming you at the station when you arrive in the morning, not to mention the Christmas Lights, and I always feel I ought to dress according to the season. Here then, is my round-up of things to buy, not only for the cold weather (wow, the temperature has REALLY dropped), but for the magic too ;)

Metallics

Blue Skirt / Silver Skirt / Foil Sweatshirt / Gold Trousers

Subtle, or a bit more in your face, something with a little bit of bling is a sure-fire way to light up the season. As I mentioned back in my November “How I Wore” post, this skirt is a really nice way to introduce the trend, and I also love these trousers. Available in limited sizes on line, when I went in-store, there were plenty. Wear with something red to really get into the Festive spirit!

Sequins


Trousers / Dress / Jacket

Who doesn’t like a little bit of sequin at Christmas time? From dainty embellishment to full on glamour for your Christmas Party, there’s something for everyone out there. The magpie in me is drawn to these trousers, but I also love this throw on coat. Perfect for office to after-work drinks!

Red

Jumper / Shirt

Nothing says Christmas more than red. I always used to wear something red on Christmas Day, a tradition I picked up from my Mum whose favourite colour it is, and it’s something that has stuck with me. I’m in love with the Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Jumpers and one in Red is firmly on my Christmas list – I tend to wear the Mens small as I like the fit better. If you aren’t one for wearing a lot of red in your wardrobe choices, then a nice introduction with a red lip or nail is a good idea.

Winter Boots


Lace Up Boots / Fur Lined Boots

Rebecca started my thinking about these with her post on the delicious Ugg’s, but I have also found some other options for something that is essential over winter. Warm, partly stylish, but practical feet, especially when there are children in tow, are a must. I really like these Ilse Jacobsen ones, as well as these Zara Fur Lined bikers – a very good deal for leather at under £100.

Novelty Clutch

Pink / Yes No / Washing Powder / Chocolate

Honestly, you can’t sneeze without seeing these in all the shops. They are a fun way of updating an outfit if your budget doesn’t stretch to something new for your Christmas Party. I’d quite like Santa to bring me a Kate Spade license plate one ;)

So are you feeling Christmassy yet? I’d love to see if any of you wear any of the above as part of the #FFFestiveFun challenge ;) You won’t see me and what I’ve been wearing at the end of December, as in usual FF style, there won’t be any posts between Christmas and New Year, but I look forward to 2015 and seeing what will be around in the store to share with you all. So, all that remains is to wish you all very Merry Christmasas, and healthy, happy and prosperous New Year’s!

Erin xx

How to Wear: November

Morning Readers!

We are now less than a month away from Christmas. Really?! I feel like I’ve wished this year away due to things that have been happening both at work and at home, so I’m really looking forward to slowing things down a bit so we can enjoy the Festive Season countdown. Having a Toddler really does give you a renewed sense of joy for the season (if you ever lost it, I’m not sure I did!) and I’m loving creating all our own family traditions.

But, on to what I’ve been wearing. I’ve been quite bad at recording the outfits as I did last month, but here are my favourites – taking into account some of the items I had on my What to Buy list earlier this month.

First up – Over the Knee Boots. I had these from two years ago, with a wedge heel that I picked up from Zara. I love that they can be dressed up or down, and here I’ve dressed them down with jeans for work on a Friday.

Anyone that follows me on Instagram will know that I’m a big fan of stripes. Mostly these are the classic Breton combination but sometimes I do branch out and this dress is an example of that. A gorgeous Orange-Red, the same colour as one of my favourite lipsticks (Nars Red Square), this is actually a dress size bigger than I usually take but it was the last one left in the whole of London and actually, the fit it really nice as it’s a Kimono-cut anyway. Really easy to dress up or down. I’m wearing it for a day in the office here, but I have worn it to a dinner with bare legs and heels. I like to try and get as much wear out of my clothes as possible so tend not to “save” things for best (unless it’s a gown of course – not sure my fellow commuters would cope with that on a Monday morning!)

Now here’s a little sneak peak into something I’m going to be featuring in December – Metallics. I’ve been a big fan of the Whistles Carrie skirt since it was released but pleats really does nothing for my hourglass shape – especially at that tricky midi-length when you don’t have the slimmest of slim legs, which I don’t.

However, I found this skirt and it was love at first sight once it arrived – not to mention it was an £11 bargain. The wide elastic waist helps as I found I could pull it down slightly to sit at the top of my hips rather than my waist which helped make it work for my shape. Again, I’ve made it work-appropriate here with a jumper but it could very easily be glammed up too. It also comes in Gold (which I’ve bought too) and I can’t wait to wear it in the run up to Christmas, maybe even on Christmas Day if I’ve not worn it before that (my Christmas Day outfit always has to be new!)

I’ve had this skirt in my wardrobe for a few years now and it really fits one of the items I said you should look at buying in November. It was from the H&M Conscious collection and I love the drape that the silky fabric gives it. I’m wearing it with stripes for a different take.

There’s nothing like a bit of leather to add a bit of interest to your wardrobe and this Marks & Spencer Limited Collection shift from A/W 2007 still gives that. Although I’m breaking one of my rules of not wearing all black here, I’ve paired it with a Navy coat, and Navy and Black is a colour combo I’m really enjoying at the moment.

Finally, a casual outfit with the jumper I mentioned earlier this month. I had a Monsoon voucher, and there was a discount on it, so this beauty became mine. The wool is really soft, and even though I’m not a fan of a polo neck (my chest is not forgiving for a polo neck) this funnel neck is the next best thing. The embroidery really is lovely, and I love how the blue is picked out with the shade of these MIH Pheobe jeans. Sparkly shoes finish it all off. A great weekend outfit.

So, how have you worn November? Did you get your hands on any of the bits? I bought one of the Christmas Jumpers – can’t wait to reveal which during December ;)

Erin xx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

What to Buy: November

Morning Readers!

I’m finding it really hard to believe it’s November already – October seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. Also, I’m not sure about you, but the unseasonably warm weather has slowed my thinking about Christmas. Just last week I was in our garden hosting a Halloween party for 12 toddlers, none of which had coats on. However, true to it’s word, November is certainly feeling more wintery, so here are my picks of what you should be thinking about buying this month.

A Christmas Jumper

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Bird / Bauble / Snowflake / Metallic
Now I know it may sound premature, but I ALWAYS leave it to the last minute and never get my hands on the one I want. I remember last year seeing a Sweatshirt with Christmas Puddings strategically placed in Primark in November, and regretting not buying it as soon as I saw it on Holly Willoughby during Celebrity Juice. FAIL.

But… I’m not normally one for the “Novelty Jumper” so here are some that are Christmas themed, yet still tasteful (in my opinion). Thanks go to a very good friend of mine who pointed out the Joules ones to me ;)  I really like the Bauble one as it has a hint of Markus Lupfer about it without the price tag. The Snowflake one also comes in a more festive red, but I rather like the Navy for subtlety and the Bottle Green one well, this doesn’t just have to be for Christmas!

Moody Florals

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Trousers / Dress / Jumper / Skirt
I’ve noticed a fair few painterly dark and moody floral prints around, and being one of the trends for this AW there are some really nice ways to wear them. From some statement trousers (I LOVE THESE!) to a really easy to wear skirt that could be dressed up or down, now the weather is getting colder, something of this print would really transform your wardrobe. The tiny caveat in the above choices is the Jumper, but the floral embroidery on the sleeves and shoulders was just too beautiful not to include here.

The Blanket Coat

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Navy / Green / Multi-Coloured
Call it what you like – a coat, a poncho or a wrap – the “blanket coat” is a big statement for this season. Now, you could pullthis off by belting a large cozy scarf having draped it round your shoulders, but for some ready to wear versions, these are my High Street favourites. The checks bordered with grey marl is my favourite, perfect to wear over denim or black trousers, but the tassels and colours of the Per Una version take this trend to the letter.

Slogan Sweatshirt

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Kiss / Ciao BellaFeline /  Feminin
These aren’t going anywhere fast, and if you haven’t dipped into the trend already, now is the time to do so. There are some great versions available on the high street, meaning you can take your pick from something that perhaps is personal to you, to something a little more tongue in cheek. So easy to wear, they are the perfect finisher to your weekend uniform.

Over the Knee Boots

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Zara / Russell Bromley
Seemingly everywhere at the moment, the new wave of these boots is much easier to wear. A flat, or small block heel, the lust-worthy Stuart Weitzman 5050’s are still probably among the most coveted, but there are some brilliant (and most importantly) affordable high street alternatives. This Zara pair is amongst my favourites available at the moment.

So, will any of the above items be on your shopping lists this month?

Erin xx